Posts Tagged: The Guardian

The Mystery Of Misleading Titles

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For the Guardian, Moira Redmond considers the prevalence of “misleading” book titles. The article references a number of well-known texts including Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping, which Redmond suggests is “sublimely about non-housekeeping.” However, Moira argues that “allusive titles” are not without merit: “They can be intriguing and draw you in.

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The Original Copycat

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Tim Youd has recently undertaken the task of reproducing Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim, but the Guardian says the idea of copying classic novels is not so original; Pierre Menard, a character in a Borges story, did it first:

Although the words themselves were exactly the same, Pierre Menard’s fragmentary Quixote was judged to be “subtler than that of Cervantes”.

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Trollope Unabridged

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A restored version of Anthony Trollope’s The Duke’s Children, reinstating 65,000 words cut from the novel for its original publication, will celebrate the writer’s 200th birthday. The precise impetus for the cut is unknown, but researchers agree it was likely a call for economy from publishers; Trollope was outspoken in his frustration at being asked to pare down manuscripts.

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A Magical Bibliography

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A new bibliography cataloguing the various editions of Harry Potter publications will help readers identify which edition of the books they own. The collection will also reveal secrets of JK Rowling’s edits, reports the Guardian. The 544-page book took Sotheby’s director Philip Errington five years to compile and includes such facts as alternative titles like Harry Potter and the Death Eaters, Harry Potter and the Fire Goblet and Harry Potter and the Three Champion.

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Neruda Conspiracy Laid to Rest

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The investigatory saga following an accusation of foul play in the death of poet Pablo Neruda appears to be drawing to a close, thanks to a Chilean judge’s ruling. Neruda’s remains were exhumed in 2013, in the hopes of discovering whether his death was truly the result of his cancer, or the product of a politically motivated assassination by poison.

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Agatha Christie Was a Good Pen Pal

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Agatha Christie was never shy to reply to her fan mail, and now the notable crime writer’s letters will be collected and published in celebration of her 125th birthday. The collection will not only feature Christie’s letters, but also the original fan mail, including correspondences with a Polish woman who told Christie that her novel The Man in the Brown Suit helped her to survive German labor camps during the second world war:

“I read and reread (it) so often that I almost knew it by heart,” she wrote.

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So You Think You Can Write?

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A recent poll shows that the majority of Brits would choose the writing life as their ideal career. At the Guardian, Tim Lott isn’t sure they could handle it:

To master dialogue, description, subtext, plot, structure, character, time, point of view, beginnings, endings, theme and much besides is a Herculean labour, not made more appealing by the fact that you always—always—fail.

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Who Wants to Be a Writer

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A recent poll by YouGuv, intended to determine the most desired professions for Britons, suggests a strong interest in expanding the ranks of authors and academics. Though common conception holds these groups to be prone to an embattled posture, forever defending an endangered tradition of bookishness, it seems that writers still hold a position of respect in the public imagination.

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Where Have All the Grandparents Gone?

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You can find forever-young baby boomer grandmas falling in love at 60 and novels about spirited older women finding self-fulfillment, but novels about grandparents’ relationships with their grandchildren seem in short supply.

Over at the Guardian, Helen Harris shares her experience of finding an underrepresented audience for her latest novel, about a grandmother-grandson relationship.

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Why Matilda Got Her Measles Shot

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Since much of the rhetoric around recent outbreaks of the measles revolves around concern for the well-being of children, perhaps the strongest advocate to answer our concerns is a beloved author of children’s literature. The Guardian shares an emotional letter from Roald Dahl, who lost his seven-year-old daughter Olivia to the disease at a time when vaccination rates in England were still low enough to preclude herd immunity.

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Shock and Awe

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There’s a misconception about what is truly shocking – that the shocking is the purely explicit. It seems to me that’s easy, and it’s been done in literature for centuries. What’s problematic, the real way to be shocking, is to have an unstable tone, or to use the wrong tone, the tone that’s not appropriate or that’s deemed inappropriate.

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Writers’ Wages Keep Falling

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A not-too-surprising result of a new poll shows that authors’ annual wages continue to fall and are now below $5,000, reports the Guardian. Authors who split their writing between traditional and self-published methods seemed to fare best, on average.

Overall, half of the writers – traditional and independent – surveyed this year earned $1,000– $2,999 or less.

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Carol Ann Duffy’s First Ladies

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In a playful reflection on the work and philosophy of poet Carol Ann Duffy, Jeanette Winterson explores the possibilities for storytelling, feminism, and everyday entertainment through poetry. Winterson excerpts poems from The World’s Wife in the voices of historical better halfs real and imagined, from Dorothy Wordsworth with her daffodils to Mrs.

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